The Tour of Britain got off to a blistering start yesterday (Sunday, September 11) for Mark Cavendish who sprinted to Stage 1 victory in Whitesands, Dumfries in a time of 4:41:06. Cav’s participation had been in doubt until early last week as he had quit the Vuelta a Espańa on Stage 4 and UCI rules normally dictate that riders who withdraw from a race are ineligible to compete in another whilst the first is still running. However, having been granted special dispensation by the governing nosy to compete in the ToB, Cavendish grabbed the bulls by the horn and stormed his way to success with an early four second lead on overall classification thanks to both the win and the stage’s time bonus. His HTC Highroad team mate Mark Renshaw took second place on the 170km stage with Theo Bos of Rabobank in third.
Quoted on the ToB’s official website (www.tourofbritain.com), Cavendish said, “It’s incredible to win the first stage and get the leaders jersey…We had wicked support today. The amount of cheers and banners along the stage was brilliant. Super encouraging. You wouldn’t expect this is Britain and it’s very different to when I last raced here in 2007. It’s very nice. This event is certainly growing.”